Minnesota hosts UNLV at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29
Philip Nelson tossed two touchdowns and Michael Carter made two interceptions for Minnesota
MarQueis Gray repeats as Bronko Nagurski Award winner
Freshman Philip Nelson throws for 149 yards and two touchdown passes
MarQueis Gray rushes for 86 yards and a touchdown
2014 SENIOR SEASON: Started all 13 games at left guard and finished his career by starting in 47 straight games protected for an offense that rushed for 2,801 yards and 32 touchdowns shared team Offensive Linemen of the Year honors with Tommy Olson named All-Big Ten First Team by the media and All-Big Ten Second Team by the coaches. Game-by-Game: Protected for an offense that rushed for 182 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 144 yards and one touchdown against Eastern Illinois paved the way for Minnesota to rush for 284 yards, including a career-high 220 by David Cobb, against Middle Tennessee started at TCU protected for an offense that rushed for 380 yards against San Jose State provided protection for an offense that rushed for 206 yards and passed for 167 yards at Michigan helped team average 5.1 yards-per-play against Northwestern protected for an offense that scored 39 points, rushed for 285 yards and passed for 165 yards against Purdue protected for an offense that passed for 240 yards and rushed for 171 yards at Illinois protected for an offense that rushed for 291 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 131 yards and four touchdowns against Iowa helped Minnesota rush for 218 yards against Ohio State blocked for an offense that rushed for 281 yards and four touchdowns at Nebraska started at Wisconsin as team rushed for 177 yards protected for an offense that passed for 267 yards and one touchdown against Missouri.
2013 JUNIOR SEASON: Started 13 games at left guard one of two offensive linemen (Josh Campion) to start all 13 games received Honorable Mention All-Big Ten status from the media has started 34 straight games on the offensive line. Game-by-Game: Helped protect for an offense that rushed for 221 yards against UNLV blocked for an offense at New Mexico State that rushed for 342 yards helped pave the way for Minnesota to rush for 213 yards and four touchdowns against Western Illinois protected for an offense that rushed for 353 yards (most since 2005) and six touchdowns against San Jose State started against Iowa and at Michigan protected for an offense that rushed for 176 yards at Northwestern blocked for an offense that generated 430 yards of total offense (271 rushing yards) against Nebraska protected for an offense that totaled 573 yards at Indiana and 381 yards against Penn State protected for an offense that rushed for 124 yards against the then-No. 1 defense in the nation at Michigan State protected for a unit that passed for two touchdowns and garnered 350 yards of offense against Syracuse.
2012 SOPHOMORE SEASON: Played in and started all 13 games one of two offensive linemen (Josh Campion) to start all 13 games started games at right guard (UNLV and New Hampshire), center (Western Michigan, Syracuse, Iowa, Northwestern, Nebraska, Michigan State and Texas Tech) and left guard (Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan and Illinois) received Minnesota's Offensive Lineman of the Year award. Game-by-Game: Helped protect for an offense that totaled a season-high 478 yards (209 rushing, 269 passing) at UNLV and also returned a kickoff for 13 yards helped pave the way for the Gophers to rush for a season-high 240 yards against New Hampshire part of a protection unit that allowed Minnesota to pass for 246 yards and three touchdowns vs. Purdue blocked for an offense that rushed for 231 yards at Illinois and 222 yards vs. Texas Tech.
2011 FRESHMAN SEASON: Played in all 12 games and started the last eight along the offensive line. Game-by-Game: Saw action on special teams at USC and vs. New Mexico State saw action as a reserve offensive lineman vs. Miami (Ohio) saw action as a reserve against North Dakota State made first career start at Michigan second career start at Purdue started third consecutive game vs. Nebraska made his fourth start vs. Iowa started at Michigan State part of protection unit that allowed Gophers to pass for season-high 295 yards vs. Spartans started at left guard against Wisconsin started at Northwestern part of an offensive line that paved the way for a season-high 269 yards rushing vs. the Wildcats in starting lineup vs. Illinois.
HIGH SCHOOL: A 2010 graduate of Tremper High School helped lead his team to a 6-5 record in 2009 and a 24-9 record in his three years as a starter earned WFCA All-State honors three-time all-Southeast Conference selection three-time all-Kenosha County selection 2009 Southeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year 2009 winner of the Alan Ameche Award as the top player in Kenosha County named his team's Defensive MVP in 2009 recorded 128 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a blocked kick on defense as a senior recorded 99 total tackles, seven tackles for loss and six sacks as a junior in 2008 coached by Frank Matrise.
PERSONAL: Born January 21, 1992 son of Liz and Mark Epping has graduated with a degree in business and marketing education and is continuing his education this fall.
McCrary Keeps On Trucking
The Gophers offense has a pair and a spare at the running back position this season. Having a spare like Kobe McCrary is a luxury for the Maroon and Gold.
McCrary, Gophers Run Past Illinois 24-17
Kobe McCrary rushed for 153 yards and Jonathan Celestin added an interception return for a touchdown as Minnesota beat Illinois, 24-17.
Elite Access: Minnesota Preps for BTN Tailgate!
Go behind the scenes of BTN Tailgate on Set-Up Day -- the BTN pregame show is coming to Minneapolis for Gophers-Fighting Illini!